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With a power bank and tinder mushroom into the wilderness

My neighbor Ilona is a self-catering holidaymaker.

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With a power bank and tinder mushroom into the wilderness

My neighbor Ilona is a self-catering holidaymaker. She and her husband enjoy traveling to Norway in the summer, enjoying the midnight sun at a cottage by the fjord, fishing for salmon, char and sea trout. The two hobby anglers bring them home as deep-frozen fish fillets in camping boxes. Incidentally, the export of up to 18 kilos of fish per person is permitted. This also secures the supply of their legendary Norway pan. According to the motto: self-sufficient travel with practical utility.

In October, the couple, who love to travel, returned from a holiday in Saxon Switzerland - and brought something back from the wilderness with them on the way. This time there are dozens of tinder fungi and birch polypores of all shapes and colours.

These are tree fungi that thrive on rotting tree trunks and are not protected, by the way. They are, so to speak, the oldest lighters in the world. Ideal for starting a fire because they hold the embers. Ötzi, the alpine hunter from the Stone Age, already knew that and had birch polypore with him.

A wilderness knowledge that has been forgotten and is now apparently becoming popular again. Because many German vacationers want to use their trip in 2023 as an opportunity to learn survival techniques (49 percent). This was the result of a survey by the Booking.com portal.

-> Survival courses are also booming in the USA, as a video from 2021 shows:

52 percent of German travelers are looking for a self-sufficient holiday; They are concerned with minimalism, improvisation and enjoying nature. They want to learn survival hacks in the wild, like how to start a fire.

Survival courses from wilderness experts are therefore going really well in this country, whether in the Harz Mountains, the Thuringian Forest or on the Vogelsberg in Hesse. For 2022, such events are booked out almost everywhere. Watching wilderness challenges is also popular: the first season of “7 vs. Wild” has 2.1 million subscribers on YouTube, and survival series on pay channels (“Alone Against the Wilderness”) are big hits.

But how can you make a fire when the matches are damp from the rain or the lighter is empty? A piece of bark with the dry, leathery flesh of the tinder fungus crumbled on it, and a nest of withered grasses draped over it.

You still need a flint to make sparks: Connoisseurs have collected them on past trips to the North Sea or Baltic Sea, and the best black flints are found on the chalk cliffs on Rügen. If necessary, the supplied flint on various survival knife tools will do the trick.

Now you need an iron file from the tool box. The carbon contained in the iron is important, as this is the only way that sparks fly when the stone is struck. And then blow until the tinder glows.

But all of this has its limits: 42 percent of holidaymakers have one basic condition for a survival adventure - telephone and internet are indispensable for them, even when they are nowhere. So if wilderness, then only with a power bank, solar panel, 5G cell phone coverage or satellite phone.

Finally vacation, finally relax? Almost every third German can also be reached for the job during summer vacation. More than half have trouble switching off while on vacation. We should urgently change that, warns an occupational psychologist.

Source: WELT/Alina Quast

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